Just the Facts, Baby!

The following is from the March 21st newsletter of Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.


The human being is a complex being, made in the image and likeness of God. Here are some fun facts about us before we were born, given by international expert, Dr. Eduard Gratacos:

  • The first heartbeat occurs at week 5 of gestation. But the entire heart is only the size of the head of a pin! During this week, the heart grows from 1 millimeter to 2.
  • All preborn babies have a mustache, which is called a lanugo. It is a kind of very fine hair, like velvet, that covers the whole body from week 15 on. All of us had a mustache!” (Yes, even girls!) It will disappear shortly before birth and then the permanent hair will appear. Elephants, whales, and seals also have lanugo, as do primates. But only the human being loses it before birth: the other species will always keep it.
  • Each unborn baby has its own fingerprints. They begin to form in week 10 and are unique to each one, even in identical twins.
  • Fetuses open and close their eyes. Although they are in the amniotic fluid, it is as if they are swimming in a pool and opening their eyes. This occurs in weeks 12 to 14.
  • Preborn babies yawn! And they do it often, between one and three times an hour. It occurs from week 13 on. The funny thing is that scientists do not know why most mammals yawn.
  • Starting in week 13, fetuses start to stick out their tongues. So, on an ultrasound it may appear that the baby is making fun of the “photographer.”
  • Their heart is a high-speed train. At week 15, it pumps at a rate of 150 beats per minute.


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